‘LANGUAGE IS DEAD!’ – an interview with Little Comets

Kitchen-sink indie – that’s what the press are calling Little Comets. A rather strange label, admittedly, but it actually sums up this group quite nicely. The band’s outrageously infectious indie sound is very down-to-earth.They romanticise the mundane: trying to get a job in the “economic downturn”, sleeping in the car after a fight with the girlfriend, and simply “screaming out for something way more epic”. But Little Comets aren’t suggesting life is shite. Quite the opposite, there’s an excited celebration about it. Here’s a band that say our lives aren’t always great. But let’s laugh it off and jump about to songs about dancing” (think ‘Dancing Song’). In such times, with “terror on the pavement” and “panic in the street” as Britain tears itself apart over Europe, such an attitude is more relevant than ever.

Hello, Little Comets. Where are you right now, and what are you doing?

Hello Charlie…. at the minute I’m sitting in my conservatory trying to stop my dog from digging up the garden, whilst trying to write some lyrics.

 

I’ve been listening to One Night in October a lot recently. From what I gather it seems to be about the breaking down of a relationship, which has resulted in one of you sleeping in the car, the belief that “language is dead”, and some seriously angry towel-throwing. Okay, so maybe I’m completely wrong! Could you tell me what that song is actually about?

No you’re right…. I can’t tell you specifically what it is about because it would get people into trouble but suffice to say it is based on a story that I heard and thought would make an interesting song…

I’ve often noticed you wearing bright colourful hoodies in your videos – is that an intentional image thing?

That was a while ago! Mickey is the self-appointed band stylist so you’d have to ask him. His current look is the vintage jumper-chino combo. Beautiful.

You got involved with former professional footballer Ugo Ehiogu after having some bad experiences with previous record labels. So what’s Ugo’s role with Little Comets and how does he compare to your previous experiences with record labels?

We don’t actually see Ugo that much, he just comes to the odd gig – but he is a lovely bloke and a key part of the business side of the label. We’re fortunate enough to work with a label that has clearly defined roles for itself and the artist. This tends to work a lot better because there is an understanding that we’ll be creative and then they can take over and attend to the more commercial side of things. Also being an indie, we work with each other because we like each other – this fosters a much better environment in which to work I think.

You’re well-known for your ‘jam-on-a-tram’ style gigs, which involves getting on a bus, train, or any other type of public transport with a snare, a couple of guitars, and just rocking out in front of bemused members of the public. Most of the reactions I’ve seen look fantastic, but I’m sure it’s not always successful. What’s the worst reaction you’ve ever had?

It’s a really good fight or flight study actually to see how people react in quite awkward situations. The worst one ever was in Hull when this burly Irish lecturer came stumbling towards Mickey (he was the closest to the front) and just threw him out of the room – it was a bit of a harsh reaction but we just had to get on with it….

Your previous drummer Mark Harle (also once in famous boy band V) left the band for a “life of gainful employment”. So what’s he done without Little Comets, and has the sound of the band changed much with his departure?

The sound definitely changed in a live setting as Mark was a great performer and brought a really unique energy to the stage – that said, I think there is a bit more space in the sound live now which lets us focus on the songs more. It maybe sounds a little more mature. In terms of recorded sound, the drum parts are quite drastically scaled back from their live form so that hasn’t really impacted too greatly. At the minute Mark is happily settled into married life and enjoying his new job – it’s still nice to see him and hopefully at some point in the future we’ll get back in a room together and play some music, just for the craic.

Thanks for your time, Little Comets! And finally, if you had one moral/musical piece of advice to give to young people who are attempting to make a name for themselves with their band, what would you say to us?

Moral advice: haha, just be nice to people really….. musical advice: write and write and write, do your own artwork, production, gigs, videos etc – if you’re prepared to put the time in across all the different swathes of being in a band you’ll cherish it a lot more and quickly find that you can do things which are of better quality and a lot cheaper than using some mercenary who doesn’t actually give a shit about your music.

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